The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), in denouncing the assassination attempt on a columnist and radio commentator in Dagupan City, Pangasinan in the western Philippines. The IFJ demand an immediate investigation into the incident.
On Tuesday, November 8, Virgilio Maganes, a columnist with Watch newspaper and commentator on dwPR radio, was wounded when he was shot in the shoulder while riding a tricycle to work. The assailant who was riding a motorcycle fired at least four shots before speeding off. Maganes was taken to hospital for treatment.
According to NUJP, after the attacker sped off and Maganes tried to seek assistance, a person picked up a piece of cardboard and placed it on the tricycle. It said ‘Pusher Ako Huwag Tularan’, in an attempt to disguise the murder attempt as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs.
NUJP chairperson, Ryan Rosauro, said: “Whatever the motives for wanting to kill Maganes, that the assassins sought to disguise the way they did… puts the responsibility for this frustrated murder squarely on the shoulders of this administration, which has created the almost perfect cover for those who wish to silence the press and inflict mayhem on the general populace. And for this it should, and shall, be held accountable.”
“We demand that authorities in Dagupan City and Pangasinan act speedily to investigate the attempt on Maganes' life and ensure his safety. We likewise call on them to bring an end to the brazen killings, whether drug-related or disguised to appear so, and restore the rule of law and due process.”
The IFJ said: “We strongly deplore the brutal attack on Virgilio Maganes and demand an immediate investigation into the attack. The Philippines remains a deadly and dangerous country for journalists and media workers. Immediate action needs to be taken by the administration to secure the safety of Maganes and the larger media community.”
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946
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